Novak Djokovic defaulted from US Open 2020; Netizens in disbelief

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Top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia was disqualified from the US Open on Sunday, after a tennis ball he hit in anger struck a female line judge in the neck.

And now Djokovic has spoken out to condemn the abuse of the official on his Instagram account, telling his fans she "needs our community's support too".

While Carreno Busta wasn't exactly thrashing Djokovic in that match, the Spaniard was up a break in the first set-and Djokovic's frustration at his missed opportunities are ultimately what led to the ill-fated ball strike that saw him out of the tournament.

The combustible Kyrgios, who was hit with a suspended 16-week ban past year for a series of on-court outbursts, jumped onto social media to ask his followers what would happen if he had hit the line judge.

Djokovic had posted on social media an apology after his disqualification, and said that the whole situation left him "sad and empty". Realising his mistake, Djokovic immediately ran over to the lines person and apologised to her. "I ask you to stay especially supportive and caring to her during this time. So unintended. So wrong", he had written in his previous post. It's close? I'm not suspended so if I'm not suspended I'm not close... I'm very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and for my fans for always being there with me.

"I wasn't watching the match live because I was sleeping, but knowing that, of course, I think puts a little bit of - what's it called - you're more aware of it, of course", the former U.S. Open champion told reporters later.

Djokovic had been battling a sore shoulder in his fourth-round match against Pablo Carreño Busta and was trailing 5-6 in the first set when he slapped at the ball with his racket.

'It was a rookie mistake to hit a ball back where he wasn't even looking where he was hitting it'.

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Djokovic's exit means there will be a first-time Grand Slam champion in the men's draw, with Zverev among the contenders at Flushing Meadows. Djokovic then went over to the linesperson to see if she was OK.

"Shame on you. Old lady full of evil", read one of the messages left on her Instagram account, while other users accused her of faking the injury and "bad acting".

The Australian star was one of a number of high-profile WTA stars who opted not to compete at the US Open over COVID-19 concerns. Unfortunately, the rogue ball didn't go spinning off as Djokovic no doubt intended.

"Defaulting a player at a grand slam is a very important, very tough decision", Friemel said.

I apologize to the US Open tournament and everyone associated for my behavior.

The accident stunted Djokovic's bid for an 18th Grand Slam title.

"The decision was made I think by the supervisors, and as I said, they are just doing their job".

His disqualification includes forfeiture of his ranking points, forfeiture of the $250,000 in prize money he had earned in the tournament, a $10,000 fine for the incident and an additional fine for his absence from the postmatch news conference.

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